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Let’s be honest: We don’t always buy shoes because we need them. Sometimes a certain pair of shoes will just speak to you and you know that the two of you were meant to be together. That’s why it’s so important to make these shoes last. You don’t want to just throw away a pair of shoes you have had a long standing relationship with. You have already been through too much together.
So if you want your shoes to stick around, you will need to take care of them from the start. These five strategies will enhance the longevity of your shoes and keep you looking good together for years to come.
1. Cleaning Shoes
Try to avoid throwing your shoes in the washer and dryer as this will add to the wear and tear. Washing your shoes by hand will give them the longest life possible. There are several tips and strategies depending upon the material of your shoes.
- Nail polish remover takes almost anything off your shoes including the color so make sure to only use this method on white canvas shoes.
- Patent leather is guaranteed to shine when a little vaseline is rubbed onto scuffs and scrapes.
- As for your standard run of the mill sneaker remove and soak the laces, brush off any excess dirt and then scrub your shoes with warm soapy water. An old toothbrush and baking soda are great tools for cleaning the soles.
When packing shoes, it’s important to make sure that they are packed tight. You don’t want to leave any room for movement that could add scrapes and scuffs. It is also a good idea to have the outside of your shoes completely covered so no loose items will nick them.
There are several strategies for accomplishing this. UPack suggests making a “shoe burrito” by wrapping shoes in packing paper until one is completely covered then wrapping another. When going on a short trip, you may want to just use a towel or even a piece of clothing to get the most use of your space. Swifty suggests placing shoes in a disposable shower cap which accomplishes the aforementioned goal as well as keeps dirt from getting on your clothing.
You also want to make sure to stuff your shoes to avoid creasing them, especially with your leather pairs. It can be worth investing in shoe trees to help keep your dress shoes in tip-top shape. One hack when packing is to stuff your socks inside your shoes both to save space and retain their shape.
3. Stretching Shoes
If your foot has grown or you purchase a pair of shoes that are just a wee big snug, try wearing your shoes with thick socks for short periods of time. Sometimes wearing them around the house will be enough to get you the extra wiggle room you need.
If there are still places where the shoe is tight then get out the blow dryer. Temperature plays a key factor in forming shoes to your feet. Extreme temperatures will assist in making the shoes material more pliable. Warm the area that is tight while trying to push against it. This should help to stretch the shoe. Another strategy is to fill one fourth of a ziploc bag with water then place it inside the shoe and place the shoe into the freezer. As the water freezes it should expand and stretch out the shoe.
Before they even get wet you should protect your shoes from the elements with a water repellent. This will help you to avoid any water stains from puddles and rain.
If they do get wet, the dryer is not the best option. Try placing the them out in the sun with paper towels stuck into the shoes. The paper towels will absorb the water from the inside while the sun dries them from the outside. This strategy is not recommended for leather as the sun may cause the leather to crack.
5. Fighting stench
Here are a few tips for controlling your sweaty feet and saving your shoes from stench. The Krazy Coupon Lady suggests inserting a panty liner into the bottom of your shoe. This will absorb the moisture coming off your feet. Baking soda is also very absorbent and will take care of odors as well as moisture. A less drastic solution is to spray dry shampoo into your shoes. It’s intended purpose is to soak up oils without leaving residue behind.